In its ongoing effort to provide charitable donations to worthy organizations, Sundance Vacations, a wholesale vacation company headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, recently presented a $2,000 donation to Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails (GHRT).
Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails now offers four miles of trail, which is free for the public to utilize. The trail has picnic areas, benches, exercise stations and an environmental education area. The GHRT operates under the auspices of the Greater Hazleton Area Civic Partnership (GHACP), a grassroots organization whose mission is to make the Greater Hazleton Area the best possible place to live, learn, work, worship and play.
The GHACP partners with the Greater Hazleton Health and Wellness Center to get more people active to combat and prevent health problems by using Rails to Trails as a means of accomplishing this goal.
The GHACP and the Health and Wellness Center will hold its 11th annual National Trails Day Hike & Bike Event on Saturday, June 14. The event will include helmet fitting and free helmets to all children who need the protective gear. Boy Scout volunteers will distribute the helmets during the hike and bike event. This marks the sixth year free helmets are being provided to children of the Greater Hazleton Area for their safety.
“We are very appreciative and thankful for Sundance Vacations’ generous donation, which will help to offset the cost of providing the free helmets. Many of the families of these children are financially unable to pay retail prices of $20 and upwards for a helmet. We also have learned that many of the current helmets are fitted improperly and don’t serve as intended. At the event, we have a certified bike instructor and a team of volunteers to assure helmets are fitted properly. The instructor and volunteers also will do safety checks on children’s bikes and make repairs as necessary,” said Robert Skulsky, GHACP’s CEO/president/executive director.
Continuing, Skulsky, said, “The total cost for GHRT bike helmet project is more than $5,500 and the Sundance donation has helped us tremendously in financing this worthy endeavor as we usually distribute 100 to 125 helmets.”
The GHRT Hike & Bike Event provides many activities including an environmental education walk and a geo-catching walk, as well as many historic, healthy living and outdoor-related displays, in addition to getting everyone out on the trail for an hour of exercise. After the walk, participants will be treated to a free picnic and entertainment.
One of the main purposes of the hike and bike event is to make more people aware of the GHRT and the benefits it provides for healthy living. From walking, jogging, bike riding, cross-country skiing, using the exercise equipment or just walking the dog, it provides exercise that fosters healthy well-being, Skulsky noted.
“Sundance Vacations prides itself on promoting healthy living and the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails project is a shining example of generating wellness through exercise. The safety aspect of GHRT’s Hike & Bike Event furthered our decision to make a donation to such a worthy cause,” said Tina Dowd, co-founder of Sundance Vacations.
The next two miles of the GHRT currently are under construction with grant funding from local, state and federal resources.
According to Skulsky, one of the many important goals and objectives of the hike and bike event is to make people aware they have this great facility nearby that they can use free of charge for recreation and to improve their health.
The GHRT wants every child who participates in the National Trails Day Hike & Bike Event on June 14 to ride safely with a properly fitted bike helmet that will be provided free of charge. The public is invited to attend this day-long event.
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